I’m going to let you in on a little secret. We actually got married in Vegas. In April. Well, it wasn’t exactly a secret; we just didn’t want to take anything away from our wedding in July, so we mostly kept it to ourselves. We opted to get the legal part out of the way in Vegas for a few reasons. First of all, Austria LOVES its paperwork, and it especially loves for all the paperwork to be in German, so had we done the legal ceremony there we would have had to collect lots of paperwork, get it all translated, and go through tons of red tape, just to get permission to get married. Getting married in the States meant we had to have exactly one thing translated (the marriage certificate itself), which we never actually did since we found out we were moving back. Also, very few of our guests speak or understand German, so we would most likely have had to do two ceremonies anyway. We started mulling over options, and since we were going to Vegas in April to meet Josee, we decided to make an appointment at the Courthouse (no Elvis chapels for us, although I’m sure that would have been fun).
The day sort of crept up on us, since we’d been spending so much time thinking about and planning our July wedding. Then all of a sudden it was time to go get married! We were so excited that we got there extremely early, and ended up serving as witnesses in another wedding (hello, Graham and Linda of England!) before our own. What is it about weddings? Even though it was brief, and it wasn’t personalized, and for goodness’ sake, we didn’t even KNOW the couple getting married, it was meaningful and moving. I teared up at two people we had never met before looking into each other’s eyes and making promises. After quick congratulations and goodbyes, it was our turn. The best thing about getting married in Vegas was that CM’s sister and brother-in-law got to be there as our witnesses, since they couldn’t come to Vienna in July. And Josee was there, too!
We held hands, repeated vows, exchanged rings, kissed, and were pronounced “husband and wife, best friends for life.” I didn’t think I would feel different. It wasn’t our “real” wedding, it’s not the anniversary we’ll celebrate. But I did. For a couple weeks afterward, we kept turning to each other and saying, “Hey, did you know that we’re married?” And every time the answer was “Yes.”
|With Josee after the ceremony|
Because we’d already gotten the legal part out of the way, we had complete freedom in planning our ceremony, which to be honest was terrifying. Right away we asked My Gay Husband to be our officiant. He’s been a dear friend to me for 13(!) years now, and he’s the best (and funniest) public speaker I know. CM and I ended up writing the bones of the ceremony ourselves as well as choosing readings, and MGH filled in all the transitions and made the whole thing flow smoothly.
One idea that MGH had was interviewing us each separately about our relationship, then writing our “story” and using it as an introduction of sorts to the ceremony. So, one Sunday we both Skyped with him for about an hour, answering all kinds of questions. He compiled all his notes and wrote the most incredible story, which we didn’t hear until the wedding day. The story took us through our first meeting (which I’m sorry to say neither of us remember precisely), the beginning of our relationship, key moments including the proposal, up to the wedding itself.
|MGH telling our story|
I’ll fill you in on more details of the ceremony tomorrow (before this post becomes novel-length), but for now I’ll leave you with this, the ending of our story, as written by MGH. I’ll just be over here crying (again).
The most touching part of the interviews came when I asked Louisa and Eric how they would describe each other to someone who did not know them.
Louisa’s response was succinct and immediate.
“Everyone loves him,” she said. “Everyone who comes into contact with him loves him. He is likable, loveable, smart, hilarious,” and here Louisa paused, made a big smile and said, “and really handsome.”
Eric, who had been a bit cautious before answering the majority of my questions, gushed at this one and immediately said, “She is beautiful; she has beautiful eyes, is a great smiler and is super-talented. People love her. People innately trust her personally and professionally. She puts people at ease. She has a good sense of humor and runs with a joke. She is caring and giving. I love her sense of grace and graciousness. She is always kind to people.”
Eric continued and said that he “loves the way we are together. The way she makes me laugh—the way we laugh together.”
Given the synchronicity of their responses, it is perhaps not a surprise that when asked, separately mind you, what they thought the other loved most about them, they both said, “We are a team.”
From Houston, to Washington D.C., to Vienna and, as they found out very recently, back to Houston, this wedding does not mark the end of their story, but rather the beginning of a new story.
In response to my question, “What would you two do on a perfect date?” Eric said, “Anything that creates memories for us. We set a high price on making memories together.”
I am certain, as I am sure you are too, that many more memories are waiting to be made. As Louisa and Eric’s friends and family, we couldn’t be more excited to follow you on your next chapter.
|My reaction the first time I heard this|
(Top photo by my new sister-in-law; others by Pink Pixel)